Discover Unique Local Experience, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s theme for 2017 is set woo visitors with memorable experiences of personal touch.Mrs Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor, International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific) said at a press conference announcing the 2017 theme campaign in Mumbai recently that: “To make Thailand as a preferred destination, we like to focus on quality. We have so many stories to tell and have lot of local activities that tourists can try. Even in the city centre of Bangkok, they can go for local cuisine tour on tuk tuk, a walking tour or a bike tour at night or even a Thai herbal massage.” Tuk tuk food tour starts at 7pm and ends at midnight and also involves visits to temples and local cooking experience.
Anusha Dandekar, Bollywood Actress, said: “Thailand has great food options in whether vegetarian or otherwise, with same style of cooking and variety. The country makes fantasy real with affordable luxury. Thai massages are a best way to relax after a busy day and one of the best Thai foot massages I had was at a corner place at Bangkok Airport for just 250 Baht. I’ve travelled alone in Thailand and the country scores on safety, one of the key points.”
Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai office, actress Anusha Dandekar and Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor, International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific).
Ms Dandekar is the Brand Ambassador for Thailand in India. Ms. Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai Office said that the actress was especially chosen to attract women travellers.
Mrs Wanapinyosak said: “This year we want to promote Thailand as a destination for women travellers. We welcome women all the time but August is special for women since it has the Queen’s birthday. A special app for women travellers, 10 kilograms of extra baggage allowance, lady immigration line and discount at hotels are some of the privileges provided in August.”
Thailand is Indian travellers’ favourite shopping destination. Ms Dandekar admitted that one of her favourite places to shop in Bangkok is outside Maya mall, to pick many local products.
Indian weddings in Thailand are a big business with 300 of them taking place in 2016. Indians also gather in Thailand for birthdays, family reunions, kitty parties, anniversaries and many other events. The NTO is planning to conduct an e-learning course- ‘Thailand Wedding & Honeymooners Specialist’ in India for wedding planners and handlers. Qualifying agents will get incentives on packages.
1.18 million Indians visited Thailand in 2016. This was an 11 percent growth in arrivals with 14 percent additional revenue over 2015. The South East Asian country is targeting 1.2 million Indian travellers in 2017. Waiver of visa fee and halving of Visa-on-Arrival fee till August is expected to attract more travellers to Thailand in the upcoming summer holiday season. 2017 is also celebrated as the 70th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India.
Mrs Wanapinyosak said: “India has always been a significant market for us with increase in footfalls every year. This year, we are happy to give our guests the experience of local tastes and culture that holds Thailand to its roots and also plan to introduce new destinations and activities. We’d like to have more of sport enthusiasts, including women, to participate in sports in Thailand.” Pattaya Marathon 2016 winner was an Indian. Thailand has 250 international standard golf courses.
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti